News

New venue selected for March 20 talk by Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee

Feb. 26 , 2013

PORTLAND, Maine – It’s official. Leymah Gbowee needs a bigger room. Due to the enthusiastic and incredible response from the community, the University of Maine School of Law has switched to a larger venue for the second annual Justice for Women Lecture on March 20.

The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center, located at the Westbrook Middle School, 471 Stroudwater St. in Westbrook.

Seats are still available, but they are filling up fast. The event is free and open to the public, and registration is required. To register, please call 207-780-4344 or email mainelaw@maine.edu.

Leymah Gbowee is a peace activist and women’s rights advocate who played a leading role in ending civil war in Liberia. She led the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement. Their efforts helped end the Liberian civil war in 2003 and also contributed to the election of the first female head of state in African history.

Gbowee was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. Among her many achievements, Gbowee is founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, and co-founder and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa. Her work is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and in the documentary film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell.

The University of Maine School of Law is committed to promoting social justice in Maine and around the world. The Justice for Women Lecture series is an endowed program that brings speakers to Maine each year to discuss good work and strategies to benefit women and girls, in the developing world and in Maine. The inaugural Justice for Women Lecture was delivered in March 2012 by the Hon. Unity Dow, the first woman to serve as judge on Botswana’s High Court.

“Leymah Gbowee is a dynamic world leader and inspiring speaker,” said Peter Pitegoff, Dean at Maine Law. “Her life work and values fit well with Maine Law’s goals for the Justice for Women Lecture Series, and we are honored to welcome her to Maine.”

The Law School established the lecture series with generous support from attorney and civic leader Catherine Lee and other donors. Lee is founder and manager of Lee International Business Development in Westbrook, Maine. In her extensive travels, Lee has been inspired by the range of initiatives that aim to eliminate barriers for women and girls around the world.

The University of Maine School of Law’s international relationships reflect the growing global orientation of law. Some of the Law School’s initiatives include a post-professional LL.M. program with students this year from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Somalia; a Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, where faculty-supervised student attorneys represent clients in immigration matters; law courses streamed in real time to students in Afghanistan and China; and student exchanges and joint study with universities in Canada, England, France, Ireland and Hong Kong.

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Media contact: Trevor Maxwell, communications director at Maine Law
Office: 207-228-8037/ Cell: 207-286-4431/ email: trevor.maxwell@maine.edu

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